A high-ranking police in Norfolk, Va., has been after reports surfaced that he donated to and praised teenager Kyle Rittenhouse, who is charged with killing two Black Lives Matter protestors in Kenosha, Wis., last August.  

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Source: MEGA

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“God bless,” Kelly’s message read in support of Rittenhouse, 18, on the crowdfunding site. “Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You’ve done nothing wrong. Every rank and file police officer supports you. Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.” 

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After his donation came to light, Kelly was placed on administrative leave while the matter was under investigation. Subsequently, Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer fired Lt. Kelly at the recommendation of Norfolk Police Chief Larry D. Boone, according to a statement from the city released on Tuesday.  

“I have reviewed the results of the internal investigation involving Lt. William Kelly. Chief Larry Boone and I have concluded Lt. Kelly’s actions are in violation of City and departmental policies. His egregious comments erode the trust between the Norfolk Police Department and those they are sworn to serve. The City of Norfolk has a standard of behavior for all employees, and we will hold staff accountable,” Filer said.  

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Rittenhouse drove from his home in Illinois last August as protests erupted over the shooting of Jacob Blake — a Black man who was left paralyzed after being shot six times at close range by a Kenosha officer. Rittenhouse, who was 17 at the time, arrived on the scene of the protest fully armed and opened fire, killing two men and gravely wounding another.  

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Source: MEGA

Kenosha, Wis. Riot: August, 2020.

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Rittenhouse pleaded not guilty to the charges of homicide and felony attempted homicide. His attorneys have maintained he acted in self-defense. He was released from custody in November after his attorney Lin Wood posted the $2 million cash bail — which was raised from anonymous donors and high-profile individuals, such as actor Ricky Schroder.  

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Rittenhouse’s trial was scheduled to begin March 29, but both sides (defense and prosecution) told a judge that they needed more time to prepare. Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder set a November 1 trial start date, with a May 17 status hearing, reported NBC News

After Lt. Kelly’s firing, Police Chief Boone tried to restore faith in the city of Norfolk that the citizens could trust the police force. “We do not want perceptions of any individual officer to undermine the relations between the Norfolk Police Department and the community. I ask the community to continue to support the officers of the Norfolk Police Department as in the past knowing that right now, at this moment, they are continuing to serve and protect them,” he said. 

Lt. Kelly has the right to appeal his firing.  

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